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National Geographic Channels Intl announces new appointments

MUMBAI: National Geographic Channels International’s (NGCI) global content hub in London has announced the appointment of Mark Francis as VP, commissioning and regional programming and the promotion of Maggie Rhodes to VP, global acquisitions and co-productions.

NGCI’s global marketing group has also announced the promotion of Emanuele Madeddu to senior VP, marketing and creative.

Francis will be commissioning content from London independents and production companies around the world. He will also collaborate with NGCI’s local teams on their regional programming strategy. He joins the team from Fox International Channels Asia-Pacific and Middle East where he most recently served as VP, Production and Development for factual and unscripted entertainment.

As the head of production, Francis helped drive original productions across key markets by commissioning and executive producing for National Geographic Channel and Star World in Asia. Francis will now be based in London and report to NGCI executive VP, Head of International Content Hamish Mykura. His appointment represents the first time a regional programming executive has transitioned to this global role.

Mykura said, “Mark has been highly adept at building successful series in Asia, and will help our global team develop strong shows across the world. He will also ensure that NGCI’s output becomes ever more focused on the needs of our regional businesses and audiences.”

With NGCI since 2005, Rhodes runs the Global Acquisitions team, with buyers based both in Washington, DC and London. Rhodes and the team are responsible for sourcing and licensing acquisitions, pre-sales, and co-productions for National Geographic Channel internationally and in the US, and NGCI’s expanding bouquet of channels including Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo Mundo. She will be working closely with Jules Oldroyd, SVP of Programming and Strategic Development, on the editorial strategy and further roll-out of Nat Geo People internationally. Rhodes will continue reporting to Carlyn Staudt, SVP of Global Programming, based in Washington, DC.

“Maggie has played a fantastic role in identifying outstanding and high-rating content that has complemented our commissioning slate,” added Mykura.

Based in DC, Madeddu will oversee the marketing strategy, creative toolkits, on-ground activations and digital marketing programmes for NGC, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo People. He will now also take on responsibility for Nat Geo Play – NGCI’s branded multi-device environment – and other non-linear offerings that are a part of the growing NGC product portfolio. He has spearheaded several of NGCI’s campaigns including ‘The 80s’, ‘The 90s’ and the ‘Entertain Your Brain’ strand. Madeddu joined the DC office in 2008 and previously served as the creative director for National Geographic Channel and Cult with Fox International Channels in Italy.

NGCI CMO Liz Dolan said, “With 171 channels around the world delivered in 45 languages, the creative and marketing challenges are massive. Emanuele approaches all of them with great talent, innovation and Nat Geo spirit so that we are always strengthening our brands and entertaining our viewers”.